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THE 

Vocal Organ 

— ITS MECHANISM 

{Explaining a new discovery) 

By 

Eugene Feuchtinger, M. A. 

Illustrated in Colors 



® 



FOURTH EDITION 
REVISED, AND ENLARGED 



fRSSiSHBD p¥:tj2e: 

PERFECT VOICE INSTITUTE 

1914 MONTROSE BOULEVARD 

Chicago, 111. 



Copyright, 1915, 

By PERFECT VOICE INSTITUTE 
All Rights Reserved 



PREFACE 



OWING to the unusual character of the subject I 
am dealing with in this book, I fear that some of 
my readers may misunderstand its purpose. 
Therefore, I have written the following explanation. 

I have made a discovery regarding the human voice 
that is of universal importance. This discovery lifts 
vocal study from a state of guess work and chance into 
an exact science. This book was written for the pur- 
pose of explaining and proving the discovery. To do 
this, it has been necessary to state technical facts, to 
separate and show the specific action and purpose of the 
different muscles, cartilages and bones that make up 
the vocal organism. In doing this, I have, as far as 
possible, avoided technical expressions that the student 
might the easier understand at a reading, what the ex- 
pert and physiologist spent a life-time in acquiring. 

To state that such and such things are so, while 
true, is not sufficient, for it does not prove the case. In 
this book I have proven my claims beyond contradiction. 
I have shown the true cause of strong and weak, of per- 
fect and imperfect voices. I have definitely located the 
flaw that limits the power and beauty of the human 
voice. I have subjected my discovery to every law of 
physics, anatomy and mechanics, and have proven it 
mathematically correct. Furthermore, I have proven it 
to be infallible in practice in hundreds of tests. 

Before a defect can be remedied, we must first find it. 
In the case of the human voice, both the defect and the 
remedy have been found, and now every voice may be 



PREFACE 



developed to the utmost it is capable of. This book 
reveals the defect in a way that all who read with care 
will recognize. While every student should read this 
book and become acquainted with his own vocal organism 
and its defects, I do not claim that from merely reading 
it, the voice can be corrected, though the book does 
point out the way. 

Knowledge is power. When the student knows what 
is needed and what to do, he has only to persevere in 
the doing to accomplish his greatest desires. 

No discovery in the last three hundred years has 

been of so much importance to the vocal student as the 

one herein explained. 

THE AUTHOR. 



INDEX 



PAGE 

Frontispiece 6 

Preface 3 

PART I 

Chapter I. The Perfect Voice .... 7 

Chapter II. The Laws of Physics and Sound . 13 

Chapter III. Musical Sounds .... 17 

Chapter VI. Overtones — Tone Quality . .23 

PART II 

Chapter V. The Laws of Physiology and Anatomy £7 

Chapter VI. The Vocal Organ 29 

Chapter VII. The Vocal Chords . . . .35 
Chapter VIII. Muscles Connecting the Cartilages of 

the Larynx 41 

Chapter IX. External Voluntary Muscles . 45 

Chapter X. External Voluntary Muscles — 

Continued 49 

Chapter XI. External Voluntary Muscles — 

Continued 53 

PART III 

Chapter XII. The Law of Mechanics ... 57 

Chapter XIII. The Contrary Proof 63 

Chapter XIV. Breathing 71 

5 




The Normal 


Vocal Mechanism 


Fig. 1-A-B. Vocal Chords. 


Fig. 10-A. Hyo-Glossus Muscle 


Fig. 2-A-B. Thyroid Cartilage. 


Fig. 10-B. Chondro-Glossus 


Fig. 3. Arytaenoid Cartilage. 


Muscle. 


Fig. 4. Cricoid Cartilage. 


Fig. 11. Genio-Glossus Muscle. 


Fig. 5. Hyoid Bone. 


Fig. 12. The Tongue. 


Fig. 6. Breast Bone. 


Fig. 13. Styloid Bone. 


Fig. 7. Collar Bone. 


Fig. 14. Palato-Glossus Muscle. 


Fig. 8. Vertebrae. 


Fig. 15. Hard Palate. 


Fig. 9. Soft Palate and Uvula. 


Fig. 16. Temporal Bone. 



PART ONE 



CHAPTER I 

The Perfect Voice 



THE purpose of this book is to demonstrate and 
prove that a perfect voice, that is, a voice which 
will meet all artistic demands of volume, beauty 
and compass, can be attained, only when the instrument 
which produces it — the vocal organ — is perfect in all its 
parts. A vocal organ that is imperfect, cannot be made 
perfect through the mere action of singing, because in 
singing, the various parts of the instrument can only do 
what they are then capable of doing. As a rule, an im- 
perfect vocal organ is defective only in one part, but 
because of this one deficient member, the action of the 
whole is affected and all the parts are thereby weakened. 
The mere singing of scales or arpeggios cannot develop 
the voice to any great degree, in fact, it usually has the 
opposite effect for this reason: the singer does not know 
in what particular part of his vocal organ the weakness 
lies. He may sing very well up to a certain note, usually 
the F on the fifth line, after that the tones become hard, 
sharp or shrill, or faint, breathy and thin. In the first 
instance he supposes that he is making too much effort, 
which is true. He is told to relax, to loosen, to make 
no effort whatever. If he succeeds in doing this the 
result is a thin tone of no volume and one devoid of 
character. And if he continues using a tone of this 
kind, even the tones which were originally full and 
strong will soon become thin and weak. 

7 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



All effort used in singing, except mental effort, is 
destructive, for it interferes with and retards the free 
action of the vocal organ. If the singer has to make any 
perceptible effort of breath or throat action to reach a 
certain note or a certain effect, he may be sure that his 
vocal organ is more or less weak, for when the vocal 
organ is proportionately strong in all its parts, then all 
tones and shades come with the utmost ease, requiring 
only the mental effort to produce them. 

The part of the vocal organ which decides the volume, 
beauty, compass and most of the shading and articulation, 
is the tongue. The tongue sets into action the entire 
vocal mechanism. It is the only part that can contract 
with perfect ease and rapidity. Its muscles are attached 
at one end to a firm, inflexible bone, the chin, and at the 
other end to the freely moving larynx and to other 
muscles. It lies between the hard and soft palate 
above and the larynx below, and works like a lever, trying 
to draw the palate and larynx toward each other. Now 
in just the degree that the tongue possesses strength, can 
it awaken force in the other parts of the vocal organ, be- 
cause no muscle can exert a greater power than is supplied 
by the resistance against which it acts and reacts. To 
illustrate: lift a book from the table and notice how little 
force is exerted, how little your muscles contract. Then 
lift a chair and note how much more power your muscles 
exert. Next, let a friend sit on the chair and then try 
to lift it. Here you find a resistance that calls forth 
the utmost your muscles are capable of. From this 
simple experiment you can learn a valuable lesson in 
the law of resistance. In lifting the book you met with 
very little resistance, hence you exerted very little mus- 
cular power; lifting the chair called forth much more 

8 



—ITS MECHANISM 



power, but it was only the third experiment that really 
proved the power you possessed, that showed you what 
you were capable or incapable of doing. 

The lesson is this: The vocal chords can contract 
so that they become thin and attenuated, in which case 
the tone is also thin and the compass small, or they 
can become thick and tense, in which case the tones 
will be strong and the compass large. How this is done 
and what mechanism Nature has provided for doing it, 
will be given in the succeeding chapters. I will state 
here, however, that to give forth sound, the vocal chords 
must be stretched similarly to the strings of other instru- 
ments. Nature has made two provisions for stretching 
the vocal chords, one is internal within the larynx and 
entirely automatic, the other is external, being the mus- 
cles which connect the larynx to the collar bone, the 
tongue and the head. The external stretching is volun- 
tary and is produced almost entirely through the activity 
of the tongue. When the vocal chords are thin, the 
resistance to be overcome is very little, and the power 
within the larynx is usually sufficient to stretch them. 
But the tones, in such a case, will be thin. They may 
be sweet and pretty and sufficient in strength to meet 
the requirements of amateur singers, but since they 
lack volume they are without pathos and character, 
and are utterly unsuited- to public performance or even 
to the more pretentious private singing. But when the 
vocal chords enlarge in size and contract strongly, the 
resistance which has to be overcome to stretch them 
is very great, so that an unusual power of the external, 
voluntary muscles is required to do the stretching. 
This external chord-stretching power is possessed princi- 
pally by the great international singers. But, as one 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



may acquire a great piano technic, so one may develop 
the mechanism which will produce as good a voice as 
that possessed by any of the greater singers. Technic, 
whether in playing an instrument, or in using the human 
voice, is, in the main, strength and muscular develop- 
ment under control. All that is needed is to know how 
to develop the right muscles and then use them per- 
sistently. 

The preeminence of the tongue as the chief factor 
in the voluntary external stretching of the vocal chords, 
has been recognized by many physiologists in England, 
France and America. And recent exhaustive experi- 
ments by one of the most prominent German throat 
specialists have proven that the tongue can be so de- 
veloped and with comparative ease, that all the require- 
ments of a perfect voice can, in this simple way, be 
acquired. 

Professor Dr. Kraus, of the Royal Charity Hospital 
of Berlin, in his book on throat and laryngeal diseases, 
says: "These laryngeal diseases can be noticed by 
people who have much work to do with their vocal 
organs, as, for instance, singers, speakers, commanding 
officers, etc. Where a certain inactivity of the tongue 
muscles exist, there will be noticed a weakness which 
often causes stammering and even a complete loss of 
voice. Many years' experience has taught me that such 
faults can be comparatively easily cured through the 
right kind of tongue exercises. In this way the muscle 
which alone can stretch the vocal chords will be de- 
veloped and strengthened. It is entirely erroneous to 
suppose that, for instance, singers who have large larynxes 
also possess large voices. I have had cases in my prac- 
tice where singers of acknowledged large and fine voices 

10 



—ITS MECHANISM 



had by Nature only a small larynx, but, unknown to 
themselves, their tongue muscles were unusually strongly 
developed, and because of this unusual strength they 
could stretch their vocal chords with great power and 
ease." 

Dr. Bennati, a French specialist of the early part 
of the last century, physician to the Royal Opera of 
Paris, who as such treated the most famous singers of 
his day, such a Catalani, Tosi, Rubini, Santini and 
LaBlache, says: "When the muscles of the tongue and 
the hyoid bone are severed or paralyzed, then the muscles 
of the larnyx can produce only a weak and dull tone. 
There is certainly, during singing, a very great con- 
traction of the tongue muscles, as one can easily prove 
by laying a finger against them. Furthermore, there is 
noted a greater size of the tongue in singers whose voices 
are especially fine and rich." 

These authorities are only two among many whc 
agree that the principal agent in all voice production 
is the tongue. However, it is better to learn all there 
is to be learned of a subject and so convince yourself, 
without leaning on the judgment of others or even on 
such authorities as here quoted. To enable the intelli- 
gent student to form his own conclusions, is the main 
object of this book. In order to give a logical sequence . 
of cause and effect, we must understand first the nature 
of a tone, secondly, the instrument which produces that 
tone, and, lastly, the mechanism of this instrument. The 
principal divisions of this book will, therefore, be de- 
voted to: 

First. The Laws of Physics and Sound. 

Second. The Laws of Physiology and Anatomy. 

Third. The Law of Mechanics. 

11 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



The object of the singer is to excite pleasing emo- 
tions. He reaches this object, not so much by means of 
technic or the form of his subject, as by the beauty of 
sound. Therefore, the singer's first object must be to 
attain the highest ideal of beauty in his tone. 



12 



CHAPTER II 

The Laws of Physics and Sound — Character of 
Sonorous Motion 



EXTRACTS from Tyndall's excellent work wffl 
explain the nature of Sound. 
The various nerves of the body have their 
origin in the brain, which is the seat of sensation. When 
a finger is wounded, the nerves convey to the brain intel- 
ligence of the injury, but if these nerves were severed 
no pain would be experienced, no matter how serious 
the injury might be. Applying a flame to a small col- 
lodion balloon which contains a mixture of oxygen and 
hydrogen, the gases explode and the ear is conscious 
of a shock, which we name sound. How was this shock 
transmitted from the balloon to our organs of hearing? 
The process was this: When the flame touched the 
mixed gases in the balloon they combined chemically 
and their union caused the development of intense heat. 
This heated air expanded suddenly, violently forcing the 
surrounding air away on all sides. This motion of the 
air close to the balloon was rapidly imparted to that a 
little further off. The air at a little distance passed its 
motion to the air at a greater distance, thus each particle 
of air took up the motion of the one preceding and trans- 
mitted it to the succeeding particle of air, thus propa- 
gating a pulse or air wave. 

The propagation of sound may be explained by a 
homely but useful illustration. In illustration One are 
placed five boys in a row, one behind the other, each 
boy's hands resting against the back of the boy in front 
of him. E is foremost and A finishes the row. Sup- 

13 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



pose somebody suddenly pushes A, then A pushes B 
and regains his upright position. B pushes C and so 
on. E, having no one in front of him, is thrown forward. 
Had E been standing on the edge of a precipice, he would 
have fallen over. Had he stood in front of a window he 
would have broken the glass. Had he been close to a 
drumhead he would have struck the drum. Thus, sound 
is sent through the air and strikes the drum of the dis- 
tant ear. 




Illustration One 

Intensity of Sound 

In the case of the exploding balloon the wave of 
sound expands on all sides, the motion produced by the 
explosion being thus diffused over a continually augment- 
ing mass of air. Suppose our balloon to be a thin shell 
with a radius of one foot, reckoned from the center of 
explosion. A balloon of the same thickness, but of two 
feet radius, will contain four times the quantity of mat- 
ter; if its radius be three feet, it will contain nine times 
the quantity of matter; if four feet, it will contain six- 
teen times the quantity of matter, and so on. Thus 
the intensity or loudness of sound increases as the quan- 
tity of matter set in motion augments. 

14 



—ITS MECHANISM 



Velocity of Sound Waves 

By sending a sound through a tube with a smooth 
interior surface, it may be transmitted to a great dis- 
tance with very little diminuition of intensity. Illus- 
tration Two represents a tin tube, fifteen feet long. At 
the pointed end of the tube is placed a lighted candle, 
(C). When the hands are clapped at one end of the tube, 
the flame instantly ducks down at the other. It is not 
quite extinguished, but it is forcibly depressed. At the 
instant two blocks of wood (B. B.), are clapped together, 
the candle is blown out. This shows in a rough way 
the speed with which sound waves are propagated. The 




Illustration Two 

instant the clap is heard the flame is extinguished, though 
the sound had to travel fifteen feet. The time required 
for the sound to travel through this tube is too short 
for our senses to appreciate. (This also disposes of the 
mistaken notion that a tone can be directed at the 
will of the singer to the chest, the face or to the head, 
for the very simple reason that the tone has left the 
singer's throat and is beyond his control before he hears it.) 

Velocity and Intensity 

In regard to sound and the medium through which 
it passes, four distinct things are to be borne in mind, 
velocity, elasticity, density and intensity. 

15 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



The velocity of sound depends upon the elasticity 
in relation to its density. The greater the elasticity, 
the swifter is the propagation. The greater the density, 
the slower is the propagation. Thus a steel rod will 
propagate sound four times faster than the same rod 
made of lead, because lead is four times as dense as steel. 

The velocity is directly proportional to the square 
root of the elasticity. Thus, suppose a rod of steel, 
half an inch thick and one foot long to equal the middle 
C on the piano; then a rod of the same thickness but 
only one-half foot in length will equal the octave above. 

The intensity of sound is proportional to the square 
root of the sounding material. 



16 



CHAPTER III 

Musical Sounds 



IF THE eyes were sharp enough to see the vibra- 
tions and alterations of the air through which a 
voice was passing, we might find there some wonder- 
ful knowledge. In ordinary conversation, the physical 
both precedes and arouses the psychical (emotion); the 
spoken language which gives us pleasure or pain, rouses 
us to anger or soothes us to peace, exists for a time 
between us and the speaker as a purely mechanical 
condition. 

Noise affects us as an irregular succession of shocks. 
We are conscious of a jolting and jarring of the auditory 
nerves, while a musical sound flows smoothly and regu- 
larly. How is this smoothness secured? By rendering 
the impulses received by the tympanic membrane per- 
fectly periodic. The motions of a common pendulum, for 
example, are periodic, but they are far too sluggish to excite 
sonorous waves. To produce a musical tone we must 
have a body which vibrates with the unerring regu- 
larity of the pendulum, but which can impart much 
sharper and quicker shocks to the air. The only condi- 
tion necessary to the production of a musical sound is 
that pulses should succeed each other in the same interval 
of time. If a watch, for example, could be caused to 
tick with sufficient rapidity, the ticks would blend to 
a musical tone, and if the strokes of a pigeon's wings 
could be accomplished at a much accelerated pace, the 
progress of the bird through the air would be accom- 
panied by music. In the humming bird the necessary 
rapidity is attained. If the puffs of a locomotive could 

17 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



be increased to fifty or sixty a second, the approach of 
the engine would be heralded by an organ peal of tre- 
mendous power. 

The production of a musical sound can be illustrated 
by causing the teeth of a rotating wheel to strike jn 
quick succession against a card. 




Illustration Three 

The above gyroscope consists mainly of a heavy 
brass ring D; along with it rotates a small toothed wheel 
W. On touching this wheel with the edge of a card, C, 
and rotating the brass wheel, a musical sound is produced. 
By increasing the rotating motion, the tone becomes 
higher; by lowering the motion, the tone becomes deeper. 
This proves the important fact that the pitch of a note 
depends upon the rapidity of its pulses. 

18 



-ITS MECHANISM 



Definition or Pitch 

When two notes from two distinct sources are of the 
same pitch, their rates of vibrations are the same. If a 
tuning fork yields the same note as an organ pipe or 
the tongue of a concertina, it is be: euse the vibrations 
of the fork in the one case are executed in precisely the 
same time as the vibrations of the column of air in the 
organ pipe, or of the tongue in the concertina. The 
same holds good for the human voice. If a violin string 
and a voice yield the same note, it is because the vocal 
chords of the singer vibrate in the same time as the 
string vibrates. 

The pitch of a musical note depends solely upon 
the number of vibrations concerned in its production. 
The more rapid the vibrations, the higher the pitch. 




Illustration Four — Monochord 

Vibrations of Strings 

To enable a musical string to vibrate it must be 
stretched between two rigid points. Illustration Four 
is an instrument employed to stretch strings and to 
render their vibrations audible. 

19 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



From the pin P, to which one end of the string is 
firmly attached, it passes across two bridges (B and B), 
being afterward carried over the wheel H. The string 
is firmly stretched by a weight (W), of twenty-eight 
pounds, attached to its extremity. The bridges (B and 
B), which constitute the real ends of the strings, are 
fastened on to the long wooden box (M N). The whole 
instrument is called a monochord or sonometer. Pluck- 
ing the stretched string at its middle, you hear a sound, 
but the sonorous waves which strike the ear do not 
proceed directly from the string. The amount of wave 
motion generated by so thin a body as the string, is too 
small to be noticeable at any distance. But the string 
is tightly drawn over the two bridges and when it is made 
to vibrate, its tremors are communicated through these 
bridges to the entire box. And the box after intensi- 
fying the vibrations, transmits them to the surrounding 
air, thereby setting it into motion. 

Laws of Vibrating Strings 

Having learned how the vibrations of strings are 
rendered available in music, we must next investigate 
the laws of such vibrations. Plucking the string of 
Illustration Pour, the sound heard is the lowest or funda- 
mental note of the string, to produce which it swings 
as a whole to and fro. By placing a movable bridge 
under the exact middle of the string and pressing the 
string against the bridge, the string is divided into two 
equal parts. Plucking either of those two divisions, a 
note is obtained which is exactly an octave above the 
fundamental note. In all cases and with all instruments 
of whatever kind, the octave of a note is produced by 

20 



—ITS MECHANISM 



doubling the number of vibrations. One-half of this 
string vibrates with twice the rapidity of the whole string. 
In the same way one-third of the string vibrates with 
three times the rapidity, producing a note one-fifth above 
the octave; while one-fourth of the string vibrates with 
four times the rapidity, producing the double octave 
of the whole string. In general terms, the number of 
vibrations is inversely proportional to the length of the 
string; the smaller the divisions of the string, the higher 
the tone. Again, the more tightly a string is stretched, 
the more rapid are its vibrations. By plucking the string 
with one hand, while the other hand alternately lifts 
and presses upon the weight, the quick variations of 
tension will produce a varying, wailing tone. By apply- 
ing different weights to the end of the string and deter- 
mining in each note the number of vibrations executed in 
a second, we find the numbers thus obtained to be pro- 
portional to the square root of the stretching string. A 
string, for example, stretched by a weight of one pound, 
executes a certain number of vibrations a second. If we 
wish to double the number of vibrations, we must stretch 
the string by a weight of four pounds; if we wish to treble 
the vibrations we must apply the weight of nine pounds, 
and so on. The vibrations of a string also depend upon 
its thickness. If, therefore, of two strings of the same 
material, equally long and equally stretched, the one has 
twice the diameter of the other, the thinner string will 
execute double the number of vibrations of the other in 
the same time. If one string be three times as thick as 
the other, it will execute one third the number of vibra- 
tions, and so on. 

Finally, the vibrations of a string depend upon the 
density of the matter of which it is composed. If the 

21 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



density of one string, be one-fourth of that of another 
of the same length, thickness and tension, it will execute 
its vibrations twice as rapidly; if the density be one- 
ninth that of the other, it will vibrate with three times 
the rapidity, and so on. Therefore, the number of vibra- 
tions is inversely proportional to the square root of 
the string. 

In the violin and other stringed instruments, we avail 
ourselves of thickness instead of length to obtain deep 
tones. The human voice is a mechanical instrument 
only in so far as the different parts composing it must 
be in exact uniformity to produce equal results with the 
mechanical instruments. Also it is subject to the same 
laws in regard to velocity (number of vibrations), elas- 
ticity, density and intensity. That is, the same number of 
vibrations per second produce the same pitch either in a 
mechanical instrument or in the human voice. The elas- 
ticity of the vocal organ is another necessary adjunct, for 
if this organ were in a tight, stiff state, it could not 
vibrate freely. 

In the same way there must be a certain density of 
the vocal chords, otherwise the tone would be devoid 
of intensity; it would be too faint and thin to produce 
tones of character and substance. But the vocal instru- 
ment is in all other respects unlike the mechanical instru- 
ment, because the vocal instrument is subjected to our 
will and directed by our intelligence, enabling it to be 
trained to the highest perfection. For instance, many 
musical instruments require provision for each separate 
tone and the means of changing the character, intensity, 
tone color, etc., are small, but in the vocal organ such 
changes are so manifold that the same note can be pro- 
duced with constant variations, creating ever new results. 

22 



CHAPTER IV 

Overtones — Tone Quality 



IT HAS been shown that a stretched string can either 
vibrate as a whole or divide into a number of equal 
parts, each of which vibrates as an independent 
string. Now, it is not possible to vibrate one section of 
the string without at the same time affecting, to a greater 
or less extent, its subdivision; that is to say, added upon 
the vibrations of the one section; we have always, in a 
greater or less degree, the vibrations of its aliquot parts. 
In the experiment with the monochord, when the wire was 
to be shortened, a movable bridge was employed, against 
which the wire was pressed so as to deprive the point 
resting on the bridge of all possibility of motion. This 
strong pressure, however, is not necessary. If we press 
the feather end of a goose quill lightly against the middle 
of the string, and draw a violin bow over one of its halves, 
the string yields the octave above the note yielded by 
the whole string. The mere damping of the string at 
the center by the light touch of the feather is sufficient 
to cause the string to divide into two vibrating seg- 
ments. Nor is it necessary to hold the feather there 
throughout the experiment; after having drawn the bow, 
the feather may be removed, the string will continue to 
vibrate, emitting the same note as before. To prove 
that when the center is damped and the bow drawn across 
one of the halves of the string, the other half also vibrates, 
place across the middle of the untouched half a rider of 
paper. Damping the center and drawing the bow, the 
string shivers and the rider is overthrown. 

28 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



When the string is damped at a point which cuts 
off one-third of its length, and the bow drawn across 
the shorter section, not only is the shorter section thereby 
thrown into vibration, but the longer section divides itself 
into two ventral segments with a node between them. 
Damping the string at the end of one-fourth of its length 



Illustration Five ^-^ Aiffl^^ 

if the bow is drawn across the shorter section, the remain- 
ing three-fourths divide themselves into three ventral 
segments with two nodes between them. Damping the 
string at the end of one-fifth of its length, the remaining 
four-fifths divide into four ventral segments, with three 
nodes, and so on. The higher notes produced by these 
subdivisions are called the harmonics of the string. And 
so it is with other sounding bodies. We have in all 
cases a coexistence of vibrations, that is, the higher 
tones mingle with the fundamental one, and it is their 
intermixture which determines what we term the quality 
of the sound. It is this union of high and low tones 
which enables us to distinguish one musical instrument from 
another. A clarionet and violin, for example, though 
tuned to the same fundamental note, are not confounded; 
the auxiliary tones of the one are different from those of 
the other, and these latter tones, uniting themselves to 
the fundamental tones of each of the two instruments, 

24 




ILLUSTRATION VI 

The" Air Tube or Trachea 



1. Lungs. 

2. Bronchial Tubes. 

3. Trachea (Air Tube). 



4. Cricoid Cartilage ) 

5. Thyroid Cartilage >- Vocal 

6. HyoidBone ) Tube 



-ITS MECHANISM 



differentiate the identity of the sounds. All bodies and 
instruments employed for producing musical sounds emit, 
besides their fundamental tones, others due to higher 
orders of vibration. Such sounds are known under the 
general term of overtone, or aliquot tones. 

Color depends upon rapidity of vibration, blue light 
bearing to red the same relation that a high tone does 
to a low one. A tone, then, may be defined as the prod- 
uct of a vibration, which cannot be decomposed into 
more simple ones. An assemblage of tones such as we 
obtain when the fundamental tone and the overtones 
sound together, constitute the tone quality. 

To the voice student the question of tone quality 
is the all-important one; upon it depends his success 
or failure as a singer, for no matter how much technic 
he may acquire, or however pleasing his personality may 
be, if his voice is deficient in quality, his success will 
be meager. Even in a purely technical sense, he will 
fail to meet the demands of higher artistic interpretation 
because his voice will fail him at the moment of climax. 
He has given all he has long before the apotheosis of 
ecstasy in the song is reached. The spirit may be 
willing, but the flesh — the vocal organ — is weak. 

On the other hand, if the vocal organ is fully de- 
veloped, then the quality of the singer's tone will arouse 
enthusiasm, even with the simplest song. As I write 
this I have in mind one of my students whose voice is a 
marvel of beauty; his compass now reaches from A below 
the staff to F above high C, each tone as full and dis- 
tinct as if chiseled. He was offered a very large sum 
of money and a pension to his family, merely to lead the 
chorus; himself to stand unseen behind the scenes, for 
unfortunately he is — a hunchback. 

25 




ILLUSTRATION VII 

Cricoid, Thyroid, Arytaenoides Cartilages and Vocal Chords 
1. Cricoid Cartilage. 



2. Arytaenoides Cartilages. 

3-a. Thyroid Cartilage (Horn) . 

3-b. Thyroid Cartilage 
(Adam's Apple). 



4, 5. Crico- Arytaenoides Mus- 
cles. 

6. Vocal Cords (their sharp 
edge) . 

7, 8, 9. Interior Wall Muscles 
which reenforce and enlarge the 
Vocal Chords. 



PART TWO 



CHAPTER V 

The Laws of Physiology and Anatomy 



WE HAVE learned that a tone is primarily the 
result of a certain number of vibrations a 
second. If these vibrations increase then the 
pitch of the tone rises; if the vibrations decrease, the 
pitch of the tone becomes lower. For instance, the 
middle C on the piano is composed of 256 vibrations 
per second. Twice that number of vibrations gives 
us the octave above or the C in the third space. 
If the vibrations are increased to 1024 per second, 
we obtain the high C on the piano. This, of course, 
holds good for the voice also. But in addition to the 
pitch, we must also obtain quality and this, as we have 
seen, is the result of overtones. The auxiliary tones 
which accompany the primary of, fundamental tone, 
decide whether a tone is good or bad. Of all musical 
instruments, the human voice contains under the right 
conditions, the most overtones. This accounts for the 
preference of the human voice over other instruments. 
Among all races and in all history it is the perfect human 
voice that gives the greatest satisfaction, the most com- 
plete joy. 

Now a little reflection will show that the funda- 
mental tone must be strong, at least strong enough to 
impart some volume to the overtones, else they could 
not be heard and the quality would be lost. This accounts 
for the fact that singers with full, far-reaching tones, are 

27 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



meeting with phenomenal success, while others, with 
sweet but small voices, linger in partial obscurity. But 
it is not enough to have a full, strong tone, it must be 
without the least suggestion of hardness or sharpness; 
it must flow with the utmost ease and give joy alike to 
singer and listener. 

The main object of the voice student must be, there- 
fore, to develop all his resources so that his tones may be 
strong, free and easy. This he can obtain in no other 
way than by perfecting his vocal organ, and since the 
vocal organ is composed of bones, muscles and nerves, 
it may be studied and analyzed, and all may understand 
the process and form their own conclusions without 
leaning on the judgment of others. 



28 



CHAPTER VI 
The Vocal Organ — Vocal Chords 



I WILL describe only those cartilages, bones and 
muscles which directly or indirectly form a part 
of the vocal organ. Usually the three cartilages 
which form the principal part of the larynx, together 
with the vocal chords which they enclose, is referred 
to as the vocal organ. This is a common, but mistaken 
conception. One might as well refer to four walls as a 
house, leaving out of consideration the foundation on 
which the house was built, and the roof which covers it. 
The larynx, it is true, is the most important part of 
the vocal organ. But if there /were no muscles to set 
it in motion or bones to give these muscles a basis from 
which to contract, the singer's chances would be very poor, 
indeed. Not much beyond a coughing sound could be 
emitted and certainly no musical sounds could be pro- 
duced. The muscles which surround the larynx bear to 
it the same relation as the tongue and wheels bear to 
the wagon. Neither is complete without the other. 
Furthermore, the singer can learn to control the muscles 
(at least the tongue muscles, and they are the principal 
ones concerned in the voluntary production of artistic 
sound), but if he should even attempt to control the 
larynx, good tones would be impossible. Of course the 
primary part from which sounds are emitted is the vocal 
chords. These are enclosed within the larnyx, and the 
larynx is the uppermost part of the trachea, or air tube, 
through which we breathe. 

The following illustration gives a very exact picture of 
the lungs, the air tube and the larynx. All these parts 

29 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



together are known as the respiratory apparatus. The 
air tube or trachea is, as its name implies, a hollow tube, 
consisting of from sixteen to twenty cartilages, each 
shaped like a ring, with the rear part flat. Between 
the flat part of the rings and the spine is the aesophagus, 
or food pipe, which leads to the stomach. The air tube 
branches at its lower end into two principal parts and 
from these are many small branches, all of them imbedded 
in the lungs, like the roots of a tree are imbedded in the 
earth. When the lungs expand a vacuum is created 
which is at once filled by air rushing through the mouth 
and nose into the air tube. The upper end of the air 
tube is formed of three larger cartilages which constitute 
the larynx or vocal tube. The basis of the larynx is 
the cricoid or ring cartilage, upon which rests the thyroid 
or shield cartilage. This cartilage is formed of two 
plates which unite in front. Their rear ends stand apart 
and horns extend into the hyoid bone above it and down- 
ward over the sides of the cricoid bone. Only the rear 
under part of the thyroid cartilage nearest the spine, 
rests upon the cricoid, leaving an open space between them 
in front. The bone above the thyroid cartilage is of very 
great importance to the singer and speaker, because all 
the power of the tone and the ability to stretch the 
vocal chords arises out of the proper action of this tongue 
or hyoid bone. The hyoid bone is shaped somewhat 
like a horseshoe; it has a thick body in front; out of this 
frontal body grow two long horns which extend back- 
ward and somewhat upward toward the spine. There 
are also two smaller horns in front. The two cartilages 
and the hyoid bone are connected with each other by 
striped voluntary muscular bands and fibers, which draw 
them toward each other, combining the three parts into 

30 




ILLUSTRATION VIII 

Horizontal Cut Through the Vocal Chords and Surrounding 
Muscles and Cartilages 



1. Thyroid Cartilage. 

2. Vocal Chords. 

3. 4. 5. Muscles which reenforce 
and enlarge the Vocal Chords. 



6. Arytaenoides Cartilages. 

7. Muscles connecting Arytae- 
noides with Cricoid Cartilage. 

8. Glottis (open space between 
the Vocal Chords, when at rest). 



—ITS MECHANISM 



one close tube, about as the three parts of a flute can be 
joined together to form one tube. Through this joining 
of the cartilages and hyoid bone, the fibers and muscles 
which line the inner sides of this tube are brought toward 
each other and stretched, and when these stretched-and- 
touching-each-other muscles are set into vibration by the 
breath coming from the lungs, through the air tube, 
tones are produced which change the upper part of the 
air tube into a vocal tube. A more detailed description 
of these important parts of the larynx is necessary to a 
practical understanding of the mechanism of the voice 
and to the appreciation of the fact that it is not pos- 
sible to change or add to the bones which form the 
basis of the larynx, but that it is possible to develop to 
the utmost the muscles which connect with these bones, 
thereby making artistic singing not only possible, but 
an assured fact to all who are willing to work. 

The Larynx 

The following description of the larynx is translated 
from the recent work on anatomy by Ad. Pansch, profes- 
sor at the University of Kiel. 

'The larynx lies in the center of the throat. It is a 
short tube of movable cartilages, within which lie the 
vocal chords. The changing of positions and the stretch- 
ing of these chords are accomplished by special larynx 
muscles." 

The Cricoid Cartilage 

The basis of the larynx is the cricoid or ring cartilage, 
which lies as a solid ring upon the upper end of the air 
tube. It has the form of a ring somewhat narrow in 
front; it rises towards the rear into and between the plates 
of the thyroid cartilage. On both sides of the ring are 

31 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



two depressions, into which are fitted the arytaenoides 
(tooth cartilage). In the opposite illustration (VII), 
both the cricoid and the arytaenoides cartilage and their 
relation to one another may be plainly seen. 

The Thyroid Cartilage 

This cartilage consists of two four-cornered plates 
which join in the form of a large triangle. The upper 
part of this triangle varies in its projection in different 
people and is known as "Adam's Apple" (Fig. 3 b). 
' The rear sides of the two plates continue upward and 
downward in the form of horns (Fig. 3 a). The upper 
and longest horns serve to connect directly with the hyoid 
bone (tongue bone) above it. The shorter, lower horns, 
embrace the cricoid cartilage below. From this position 
the thyroid cartilage moves forward or backward as on 
pivots and thus assists in the stretching of the vocal 
chords; hence it is sometimes called the stretching car- 
tilage. 

The Arytaenoides 

The arytaenoides (Fig. 2) are in general three-sided, 
irregular pyramids which stand on both sides of the back 
and uppermost parts of the cricoid cartilage. As these 
little cartilages are enveloped in muscles, they fill out the 
rear or open space of the thyroid cartilage. The under 
inner side is hollowed out to fit upon the steep sloping 
sides of the cricoid cartilage (Fig. 1) ; from these points 
the cartilages are moved toward and from each other by 
muscles which connect them to the cricoid and thyroid 
cartilages (Figs. 4, 5). Out of these arytaenoides grow 
the vocal chords (Fig. 6), extending forward to the inner 
corner of the front of the thyroid cartilage, their muscles 

32 



-ITS MECHANISM 



and fibers filling at the same time the space between 
themselves and the inner walls of the thyroid plates 
(Figs. 7, 8, 9), so that whatever affects the movements 
of these little arytaenoides bones, at the same time 
affects the vocal chords. See illustrations Seven and 
Eight. 

The Hyoid Bone 

This bone has the shape of a horseshoe. It lies di- 
rectly above the thyroid bone and is attached to the 
rear part of the tongue between the third and fourth 
vertebrae. It is easily found by pressing against the 
corner made by the lower jaw and the throat. The mid- 
dle and forward-bending part of the hyoid bone is the 
hyoid body, rather thick and strong. Out of it extend 
two long horns which reach far back into the throat; 
also two shorter horns. From these horns and from the 
body itself, extend muscles which, like the ropes from a 
masthead, attach themselves to many different points 
of the head, jaw, neck and chest. See illustration Six. 

The Epiglottis 

This is a cartilagenous, fibrous body, growing out of 
the larynx, somewhat tongue-shaped and very elastic. 
Its purpose is to cover the vocal tube during the act of 
swallowing, to prevent the food from passing into the air 
tube. It has no vocal office whatever, though formerly 
it was thought to have some vocal effect. But this has 
been entirely disproved. 



33 



CHAPTER VII 

The Vocal Chords 



THE vocal chords extend from the roots of the 
arytaenoides along the inner side of the two plates 
of the thyroid cartilage to the angle where these 
plates are joined together and form the sharp corner in 
front of the throat. Since these edges of the vocal 
chords meet at the angle of the thyroid cartilage, they 
touch each other at that point, but are farther and 
farther apart as they stretch across to the arytaenoides 
on the right and left sides of the cricoid upon which 
these rest. The vocal chords are not thin muscles, 
which, as is^ sometimes supposed, resemble a string 
% or a wire; far from it. They are more like muscular 
bands, being, in fact, rather broad, extending from about 
the middle of the thyroid cartilage nearly down to the 
cricoid cartilage. Bearing this broad band shape of 
the vocal chords in mind, it can easily be seen that 
in singing, these bands do not touch each other in their 
entire width; if they did, no breath could get through to 
set them into vibration, and, of course, no tone would be 
possible. The vocal chords must approach each other 
and form a sharp edge. This is brought about mainly 
through other muscles which lie behind the real vocal 
chords and which help in rotating the arytaenoides upon 
their pivots to bring the edges of the vocal chords toward 
each other. In thus contracting, they force the upper 
parts of the vocal bands toward each other, bulging 
them in such a way that sharp edges appear which can 
easily be set in motion by the breath. But in perform- 

35 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



ing this office they also perform still another, in that they 
enlarge the vocal chords, making them much thicker. 
From the chapter on the laws of physics and sound, we 
have learned that a tone is either weak or strong in 
proportion to the vibrating, tone-producing material. A 
thin chord will give much weaker tones than a chord 
four or eight times thicker. Now, if only the vocal 
chords vibrate, the sound can be only of a certain strength, 
no' matter how much breath pressure might be brought 
to bear; the breath cannot change the vibrating material 
in the least, but since the muscles which lie between the 
vocal chords and the wall of the thyroid cartilage contract 
very sharply and force the vocal chords toward each 
other, and also into a sharp edge, they add their own 
size, density and strength to the vocal chords, and conse- 
quently they also vibrate with them, being, in fact, like 
one compact pair of muscles instead of several separate 
pairs. We may compare this with the bass strings of a 
piano where the wires are re-enforced with additional 
wires which are tightly wound around them, thus making 
the original wires perhaps four to eight times heavier, 
and, of course, the tone so much stronger and larger. 
Anticipating later chapters, I may here say that, like the 
heavily covered piano wires, the re-enforced vocal chords 
vibrate much slower^consequently a high tone is only 
possible when a great stretching power exists which 
enables the singer to stretch these re-enforced vocal 
muscles sufficiently to meet the necessary number of 
vibrations needed for the higher tones!} lAnd any singer 
who develops this needed stretching power is thereby 
raised from the ranks of mediocrity to a high artistic level. * 
Those who have not this power can develop it until it is as 
good, or even better, than that of the greatest singers the 

36 



-ITS MECHANISM 



world now has or ever has had. This is no hypothesis, 
but a mathematical certainty. 

In illustration VII, the action of the vocal chords 
and the muscles behind them is plainly visible. The 
muscle in front (the thin white line), being the real vocal 
chord, those behind contract sharply, and, of course, 
become shorter and thicker, which causes the chords 
on either side to bulge toward each other into a sharp 
edge. At the same time the arytaenoides are revolved 
so that the chords quite or nearly touch each other. 
Illustration VIII still more plainly shows that the vocal 
chords (Fig. £) can be re-enforced and enlarged to an 
almost unlimited extent by the surrounding muscles 
(Figs. 3, 4, 5), thereby adding more and more volume 
to the tone, and, of course, more audible overtones which, 
as was shown in the beginning chapters, adds greater 
and greater beauty to the tone quality. 

In illustration VIII the vocal chords (Fig. %) 
are plainly visible as the first layer of muscles growing 
out of the points of the two arytaenoids (Fig. 6), and 
meeting in the center of the thyroid cartilage (Fig. 1). 
Picture them as bands extending downward to nearly 
the cricoid cartilage. The empty space between them is 
called the glottis (Fig. 8). Behind the vocal chords are 
other layers of muscles (Fig. 3, 4, 5); their attachments 
are also from the arytaenoids to the front of the thyroid 
cartilage. Remembering that the arytaenoides rotate upon 
the top of the cricoid cartilage, it is clearly seen that 
such a rotating action will bring the vocal chords, and 
with them, of course, all the muscles behind them, toward 
each other. This is exactly what happens in singing 
and also, but to a less extent, in speech. The nerves 
which supply these muscles, stimulate them to contrac- 

87 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



tion and hold them during the musical phrase or spoken 
sentence, after which, as there must be a slight pause 
between sentences, or phrases, the muscles relax and re- 
sume their original shape, to be brought to instant con- 
traction on the beginning of a new sentence. / It is of 
the utmost importance to keep in mind that the front 
attachment of the vocal layers of muscles grow out of 
the thyroid cartilage and are permanently fixed at that 
point. The opposite ends are movable, because they are 
attached to the freely moving, rotating pair of arytae- 
noides cartilages. As the chords contract, these arytae- 
noides wheel around. But if there were no other muscles, 
the arytaenoides would be drawn forward, away from the 
back of the cricoid toward the front of the thyroid. To 
prevent this, muscles have been provided which hold 
these arytaenoides in place; in fact, they pull strongly 
backward, just as strongly as the vocal chords pull for- 
ward, and thereby help in stretching the chords. These 
backward-pulling muscles (Fig. 7) arise out of the back 
of the cricoid and are fastened to the rear of the arytae- 
noides, where they are assisted by still other muscles in 
this backward pulling. The student is earnestly re- 
quested to examine these points closely as they are of 
importance to him and to his understanding of the fol- 
lowing chapters. The day has passed when merely the 
thoughtless singing of exercises suffices to make an artist. 
Clear thinking and scientific reasoning alone are the 
keys which will open the door to vocal success. We are 
dealing with a substantial science, one that is as much a 
matter of fact as the playing of a piano or a violin. But 
the singer must be his own creator, so to speak; he cannot 
buy a perfect voice, he must know what to do and 
then do it. 

38 



—ITS MECHANISM 



In the first chapter it was said that Nature provided 
two means of stretching the vocal muscles; one, the 
internal, has just been described, the other, or external, 
will follow. But, in anticipation of the future chapters, 
it may be said that the internal stretching is entirely 
insufficient for the modern tone. Where in opera, con- 
cert or church, a full, rich, scintillating tone is required, 
a thin, small voice has no chance against a modern 
orchestra or even an organ. The ethical demands made 
by modern composers require a tone that from the 
slightest "piano" can be increased to a voluminous "fortis- 
simo." The pleadings of the softest whisper of longing 
must, if need be, increase to the utmost cry of intense 
passionate love or hate. Nature has made full and over- 
flowing provision for all this. The vocal muscles as they 
lie within the confines of the larynx can stretch but little. 
The space from the thyroid to the arytaenoides is too 
small. &t is only when the thyroid cartilage is being 
tilted downward that the stretching can be increased^ 
This action must take place before the chords can be 
completely stretched. (/The stretching is accomplished, 
however, bv external muscles, which will presently be 
described^/ (The external stretching of the vocal chords 
is voluntary and under the student's control, and the 
method can be learned by anyone who will give the sub- 
ject a little intelligent consideration. J 



39 




ILLUSTRATION X 



A. Open space between Cricoid 
and Thyroid Cartilages. 

1. Thyro-Hyoid Muscle. 

2. Hyo-Glossus Muscle. 

3. Chondro-Glossus Muscle. 



4. Style-Glossus Muscle. 

5. Glossus (Tongue). 

6. Genio-Glossus Muscle. 

7. Genio-Hyoid Muscle. 

8. Genio (Jaw). 

9. Hyoid Bone. 



CHAPTER VIII 

Muscles Connecting the Cartilages of the Larynx 



THE two principal cartilages, the cricoid and the 
thyroid, are connected with one another, as is 
seen in Illustration IX, first by the ligament 
(Fig. 1), crico-thyroideus, which connects the front 
sides of the two cartilages. A muscle can be either 
elongated or shortened. The shortening, or contraction, 
of a muscle serves to bring the two parts to which it is 
attached toward each other, while an elongation would 
separate them. The elongation is brought about by a 
forcible outward pull, which stretches it beyond its natural 
length, thereby weakening it. Only a natural contrac- 
tion of a muscle is of any service to the body. Anything 
beyond that or less than that is useless or harmful. The 
vocal chords, in contracting, pull upon the cricoid upward 
and the thyroid downward, but since the cricoid cartilage 
is a part of the trachea, grown with the other rings into 
one solid tube, this cartilage cannot be drawn upward, 
hence only the downward pulling force of the ligament 
is available. This force is sufficient, however, to prevent 
the muscles which pull upon the thyroid cartilage upward 
(as will be later described) from dislocating the thyroid. 
As this muscle connects only the frontal parts of the 
cartilage, and since the thyroid cartilage simply rests 
upon the back of the cricoid, other muscles are needed 
to prevent the rear part from leaving its position. These 
muscles are found to the left and the right sides of the 
ligament (Figs. 2, 3, 4). They are the crico-thyroid 
muscles. Now, when all these muscles contract, the thy- 
roid cartilage tilts downward in front and closes the hollow 

41 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



space or niche between it and the cricoid. A.so since the 
vocal chords are being held in the rear by the arytae- 
noides and their muscles, they are being drawn some- 
what down in front, thus stretching them to some extent. 
At the expense of seeming tedius, it must be stated 
that all these important actions could not take place 
if the cricoid cartilage were not firmly fixed as a part 
of the air tube. For if the cricoid were movable, then 
the muscles which connect it with the thyroid could 
contract but very little. At least one of the two parts 
to which muscles are attached, must be firm to give the 
necessary resistance against which they can contract. 
Take a friend's hand and pull it toward you. If he does 
not resist, then you can not exert yourself, but the more 
he resists, the stronger you can pull. Now it is true that 
the entire air tube can be raised somewhat, and that is 
what is done when the larynx is raised for high tones, 
as is often wrongly advised. But in so doing it is made 
impossible for the muscles just described to contract suf- 
ficiently to stretch the vocal chords, because if the air 
tube is raised it loses its natural hold in the chest and, 
as a consequence, all the other forces are weakened. 
Similarly, if you lower the larynx for low tones, you 
also lower the air tube and alter its natural position, 
weakening its action and all other parts with it. If you 
pull a finger out of joint, it cannot move up or down 
because it is dislocated. It is so throughout the human 
body; each member can do its work only from its naturally 
appointed position. 

Muscles Connecting the Cartilages of the Larynx 

You are now requested to examine the position of 
the hyoid bone in illustration IX, -Fig. 9. Picture to 

42 



-ITS MECHANISM 



yourself that the long horns reach far back on both 
sides of the throat and directly underneath the tongue, 
with which the hyferid bone is very closely con- 
nected. Just as the cricoid and thyroid cartilages are 
connected, so the hyoid and thyroid boneS are connected, 
first in front by a ligament (Fig. 5), and then on both 
sides by muscles (Fig. 6). Now some close reasoning 
will be required of the reader to understand and digest 
the seemingly involved (but in reality, very simple) 
actions of all these muscles. The three cartilages, cri- 
coid, thyroid, and hyoid, must be closely brought together 
to make a hollow tube. It was said that the cricoid, 
being a part of the air tube, affords a firm basis for the 
contraction of the muscles to the thyroid, but if this 
cartilage were not itself provided with muscles to hold 
it, then the thyroid could not resist the cricoid muscles. 
The two cartilages would merely lie one upon the other 
in a loose, flabby state, utterly useless for vocal purposes. 
Consequently, the thyro-hyoid muscles must be able to 
resist the muscles below them, but the hyoid bone, as 
illustrated, affords no hold to the muscles below it or 
to the thyroid. How, then, could all the described 
muscles contract, how could these three cartilages be 
brought into a firm hollow tube? We must find some 
means whereby directly or indirectly a firm hold is pro- 
vided for the hyoid bone. Otherwise the chain of resist- 
ance would be broken and musical tones would be im- 
possible. To find this support for the hyoid bone, leads 
us to the external voluntary muscles and to the solution 
of the question of how voice can be developed. 



CHAPTER IX 

External Voluntary Muscles — The Tongue 



THE muscles and their actions so far described are 
mainly involuntary, that is, their action takes 
place automatically, without one's being conscious 
thereof. The muscles which will now be described are 
voluntary, which means that they can be brought directly 
under the conscious control of the will, and can be 
strengthened and developed to the utmost perfection. 
That this is possible makes voice study just as exact 
as piano playing. One has only to learn what should 
be done, and then persistently do it until perfection is 
reached. With these facts proven, voice study is no 
longer a matter of guess work, hypothesis or mere specu- 
lation, but a practical science open to all. The next 
illustration (X) presents a view of the larynx and 
tongue with most of the muscles connecting them. 

In our search for a support for the hyoid bone we 
arrive at the second most important part of the vocal 
organ — (he tongue. The tongue (Fig. 5) is practically 
all muscle. When the mouth is closed the tongue fills 
the entire space within, reaching backward into the 
food pipe. When the mouth is opened the tongue may 
be protruded, many movements made and changes of 
form and position be assumed by this versatile member. 
These changes occur during eating, chewing, and swal- 
lowing, but more especially during speaking and singing. 
The tongue is not only a most important part of the 
digestive apparatus and the organ for tasting, approving 
or rejecting food, but it is also a very important part 
of the vocal organ. We must remember that what we 

45 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



see of the tongue when the mouth is open, that is, the 
point and the surface, is the smallest part of it. The 
tongue grows out of the lower jaw (Fig. 8), to which 
it is firmly attached by a tendon, called the septum 
lingua. This tendon connects with the hyoid bone. 
Most of the other muscles which constitute the tongue 
grow out of the bony parts of the skull, which 
affords them and through them the entire tongue, a 
very firm hold. In our search for a hold to the hyoid 
bone, we will learn much from an examination of illustra- 
tion X. Growing out of the horns of the hyoid bone 
(Fig. 9), we see two broad bands of muscles going straight 
up into the tongue. These muscles are the hyo-glossi 
(Fig. 2), and back of them lie the chondro-glossi muscles 
(Fig. 3). These latter are of the greatest importance. 
When they contract, they pull or attempt to pull — which 
is the same—Hthe hyoid bone upward. This contraction 
serves to give the muscle (Fig. 1) from the thyroid 
to the hyoid bone the necessary resistance. Then the 
crico-thyroid, still lower down, can also contract. But, 
again, what support is provided for the tongue? If the 
tongue were not supported then the hyoid and chondro- 
glossi muscles could not contract, and we would be no 
better oflf than before. All the muscles above the hyoid 
bone and the lower jaw are parts of the tongue, so when 
I speak of a tongue support I mean these muscles. Grow- 
ing out of the firm, strong base of the skull, the stylo- 
glossi muscles (Fig. 4), (there are always a pair, one right 
and one left) reach nearly to the point of the tongue for- 
ward, constituting the outward rims of the tongue. As 
this muscle curves strongly upward, it would, in contract- 
ing, pull upon the hyo-glossus and chondro-glossus mus- 
cles, thus giving them a firm hold. But since the stylo- 

46 



-ITS MECHANISM 



glossus muscles not only branch upward, but also back- 
ward, they would pull the entire tongue also backward, 
and thus destroy any support to the muscles below them. 
To offset this, there is an exceedingly strong muscle 
growing out of the chin in a fan shape backward into 
the tongue, the genio-glossus (Fig. 6). This muscle in 
contracting would pull the tongue strongly forward, thus 
preventing the backward drawing of the stylo-glossus. 
Now, when all these tongue muscles contract with equal 
force, they support each other so that there is no other 
perceptible change beyond a general thickness and firm- 
ness of the tongue. They each retain their natural 
position except for a slight shortening. Aiding the 
stylo-glossus there is another pair of muscles, the palato- 
glossus (Frontispiece, Fig. 14), growing out of the soft 
palate in~an arching line down to the rear sides of the 
tongue. This muscle grows out of the soft palate, hence 
there must be found a support to the soft palate; this 
support will be described in the next chapter. 

We have now one continuous chain of muscles from 
the air tube to the skull, each supporting the one below. 
By these the external parts of the vocal chords may be 
stretched sufficiently for a thin tone, but the muscles 
which lie behind the external chords, inside the larynx, 
would not be affected, because the stretching force so 
far described is not enough to call the entire vocal mate- 
rial into action. Close reasoning on the student's part 
will show him that all these muscles in reality pull the 
larynx and with it the air tube, upward. Now the air 
tube is fastened by its lowest branches into the soft 
lungs, which cannot resist a very strong upward pull. 
Then, too, the entire tube hangs freely, loosely in the 
throat, too loose to permit the utilizing of all the vocal 

47 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



material. Again, the upward pulling muscles do not 
tilt the thyroid cartilage downward sufficiently to stretch 
the vocal chords, because their tendency is merely straight 
up. We must look first for a much firmer support to the 
air tube and larynx, and, secondly, for a device to tilt 
the thyroid cartilage downward. 



48 




ILLUSTRATION XI 

Palato-Pharyngeus Muscles (Left Side Removed) 

Thyroid Cartilage. 



1. Palato-Pharyngeus Muscle. 

2. Cricoid Cartilage. 

3. Arytaenoides Cartilages. 



5. Vocal Chords. 

6. Crico- Arytaenoides Muscles 



CHAPTER X 

External Voluntary Muscles — Continued 
The Larnyx (Downward Pulling) 



IT HAS not been the purpose of the writer to describe 
the anatomy of the vocal organs from the view- 
point of the professional anatomist, but from that 
of the voice teacher, whose aim is to minutely and accu- 
rately describe tha,t part of the vocal apparatus which 
has to do solely with the voice and speech. We must 
bear in mind that the first purpose of the vocal organ 
is to supply the lungs with air. Furthermore, that that 
part of the vocal organ which we call the mouth and 
the pharynx was designed to receive food and pass it 
into the aesophagus, or food pipe, immediately behind 
the larynx and air tube. To supply all these parts 
with the necessary muscles and tendons, to connect the 
head with the chest, to provide the possibility for the 
manifold motions and positions needed, a large number 
of muscles are provided which do not directly affect 
the vocal organ. They are not mentioned here, though 
in a later chapter the influence of the throat and head 
muscles will be touched upon. It may be stated that 
the throat and head muscles do not interfere with the 
voice, therefore they need not concern us in the least, 
so long as the true vocal muscles operate correctly. It is 
only when a certain one of these vocal muscles does not 
operate properly that the non- vocal muscles interfere. 
£The voice student should know what to do rather than 
what to omit. I teach a positive building process rather 
than a negative "don't.*J 

49 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



Something of the inner working of museles may be 
of interest to the student. As a rule, muscles connect 
the bones of the body through the medium of a ligament 
or tendon. A muscle consists of an origin, body and 
head. By the origin is meant a bone that is firmly 
fixed. Out of this bone the muscle grows, while the 
other end or head is attached to a movable bone. Mus- 
cles are formed into groups; several muscles perform the 
same office, as for instance, when we take a step, there 
are several muscles which unite to move the bones at 
the same instant. Each group of muscles is supplied 
with one or more nerves. 

Dr. Foster of London, England, in his interesting 
work, describes the inner workings of a muscle thus: 
"One should think of a muscle as containing many cells 
whicji lie beside one another like particles of powder. 
To each of these particles leads a thread from the central 
battery of the brain. The explosion of one of these 
particles contracts the muscle instantly, and it remains 
contracted until a part of the negative battery is exploded, 
when the muscle at once returns to its original relaxed 
position. If we try to force a muscle it refuses to work, 
because, as it seems, the positive and negative batteries 
neutralize each other, so that the muscle cannot work at 
all. After the particles are exploded, the muscle is tired or 
broken down. During rest the blood builds up new parti- 
cles, and in this way a muscle is rebuilt and made stronger." 

Therefore, all ideas of force must be dismissed. But 
the theory of looseness and flabbiness, so often taught, 
is just as pernicious. In both cases the muscles refuse 
to work and become useless. If, however, we strengthen 
the muscles, there is no need to force them, for they will 
then do their work automatically. 

50 



-ITS MECHANISM 



The frontispiece is a composite picture of the entire 
vocal apparatus, and was designed by the author of 
this work. The breastbone and collarbone (Fig. 6, 7) 
form the basis for the connecting muscles. To support 
the food pipe, and especially the air tube and larynx 
for swallowing and coughing, or for the purpose of a strong 
voice, a triangle of muscles surround the throat, run- 
ning from the front and the sides upward. 

The sterno-hyoid muscles (there are always a pair) 
start at the outermost points of the collar bone, and 
run in an almost straight line up to the hyoid bone 
(Fig. 5)i Contracting, they pull the front of the hyoid 
bone downward. They are aided by the omo-hyoid, 
which runs from the rear part of the collar bone in a 
curve to the hyoid bone. In contracting, these muscles 
also pull the front of the hyoid downward, and since they 
are strongly curved backward, they, at the same time, 
press the lower part of the larynx strongly backward 
against the spine, thus giving the vocal organ a strong 
bony support against which it rests. This point acts as 
a fulcrum, against which the down and up pulling 
muscles can contract with very great chord-stretching 
effect. Still another pair of muscles assist these 
remarkably strong downward-pulling muscles. It is 
the sterno-thyroid muscle, which lies between the two 
muscles just mentioned and runs from the collar bone 
to the thyroid cartilage. It especially tends to draw 
the front of the thyroid cartilage downward, thus 
closing the niche or open space between the thyroid 
and cricoid cartilages (111. X, Fig. A) and stretches 
the vocal chords most completely. Now, picture to 
yourself vividly that these three pairs of strong mus- 
cles pull the front of the entire larynx downward and 

51 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



backward, and, of course, also pull the front parts of the 
vocal chords downward, below the level of their rear 
attachment. 



52 



CHAPTER XI 

External Voluntary Muscles — Continued 
The Larynx (Upward Pulling Muscles) And the Pharynx 



THE question will at once suggest itself, "What 
forces oppose these downward-pulling muscles ?" 
For, if there were no opposition, the larynx and 
the vocal chords would merely be pulled downward 
into the throat. Not even the downward-pulling mus- 
cles could contract, because they would have no resistance 
against which they could pull. To pull yourself upward, 
you first need a bar or some strong object that you can 
grasp, and secondly, sufficient muscular power to at least 
raise your own weight. We must find the forces which 
pull the larynx upward. Part of these forces have been 
described in the chapter on the Tongue. In the frontis- 
piece (Fig. 10 A-B) we see the two broad muscles, the 
hyo-glossi and chondro-glossi. These pull the rear horns 
of the hyoid bone upward, and with them the larynx. 

The Palate 

The palato-pharyngeus muscles (Fig. 1, 111. XI) 
arise out of the soft palate (Fig. 9, Frontispiece), and 
extend backward and downward into the upper horns 
of the thyroid cartilage. Their action would pull the 
rear part of the thyroid cartilage upward, thus opposing 
the downward-pulling muscles. This assists in the 
stretching of the vocal chords. Another illustration will 
make this still more plain. 

As seen in this illustration, the palato-pharyngeus 
muscles (Fig. 1) pull, not only upward, but forward as 

58 



THE VOCAL OKGAN 



well. They are fastened to the upper horns of the 
thyroid cartilage (Fig. 4), which pivots on the back of the 
cricoid (Fig. 2) below it. The action of the vocal chords 
(Fig. 5) within the thyroid cartilage is also very plain, 
showing that the pulling of the horns tilts the cartilage 
downward and thus assists in the chord-stretching pro- 
cess. But this muscle grows out of the easily-yielding 
soft palate. How, then, can it contract and pull the 
larynx upward? 

The palate is the roof of the mouth and at the same 
time the floor of the nose. It consists of the hard bony 
part in front (Fig. 15, Frontispiece), and the soft, flexible 
part behind, which extends down into the pharynx, 
ending there with its appendix, the uvula (Fig. 9, Fron- 
tispiece.) Its sides form the two arches over the rear 
of the tongue, which can be easily seen by opening the 
mouth. The front of the arch constitutes the palato- 
glossi muscles, already mentioned in the chapter referring 
to the tongue. The rear arch is formed by the upper 
portion of the important palato-pharyngeus muscles. 
But still another difficulty presents itself, for the soft 
palate cannot support the palato-pharyngeus unless it is 
itself supported by some other attachments. These 
attachments are provided by muscles which grow out 
of the soft palate into the skull (Fig. 16, Frontispiece). 
They pull the soft palate backward and upward. Their 
backward movement partially closes the opening to the 
nose, thereby preventing nasal tones. The upward pull 
opposes the downward pull of the pharyngeus muscles. 
Then there are the tensor-palati muscles, running from 
side to side of the soft palate into the tooth-like little 
bony projection behind the upper molar teeth. These 
serve to make the entire palate more tense, so that a 

54 



-ITS MECHANISM 



still better resistance is provided; furthermore, greater 
resonance is thereby made possible. 

The above description shows that the palate should 
never be raised during voice, as is sometimes erroneously 
taught, for, were it raised, there could be no resistance 
and the power of all the muscles would be lost. Like- 
wise, there should be no lowering of the palate during 
voice. The front of the soft palate, where it is attached 
to the hard palate, becomes tense and swells a little 
downward. The uvula being only the soft appendix, is 
somewhat shortened, so that during voice it stands a 
little higher than before, but the main part of the soft 
palate remains in its natural position, only becoming 
more tense. 

The Pharynx 

The cavity of the mouth leads directly into the 
cavities of the pharynx, of which there are three; one 
is immediately behind the palate muscles leading down- 
ward into the food pipe, another is that cavity from 
the rear part of the tongue to the nose; the third being 
the cavities of the ears. All these cavities are formed 
by the bony structures surrounding them and they are 
lined by various muscles. The open form of these cavi- 
ties, according to the much quoted anatomist, Luschka, 
is subjected to constant changes during speech, in singing, 
and especially in the act of swallowing. The arches of 
the palate approach each other until they almost touch. 
This shortens the pharynx from the lower to the upper 
parts, so that the wall which was visible and free before, 
becomes hidden as by two closed curtains. With the 
assistance of the roots of the tongue (hyo-glossi and 
ch'ondro-glossi muscles), the larynx can be strongly pulled 

55 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



upward. This action is especially marked in high tones. 
The soft palate, a true diaphragm-pharyngeus, is only 
complete in man, while, for instance, in the dog, the 
uvula and the tongue-to-palate muscles are lacking. The 
purpose of the palate in the animal is merely to close 
the cavity to the nose, while in man it serves in addi- 
tion to the closing of the nose cavities, also the purpose 
of raising the larynx. 



56 



PART THREE 



CHAPTER XII 

The Law of Mechanics — 
Why Voice Students Sometimes Fail 



MOST students fail because they lack an exact 
scientific method of instruction. It is known 
that, by lowering the larynx, the voice can be 
made stronger, and that through the raising of the 
larynx, higher tones can be reached. In neither case, 
however, are the tones really good. The lower tones 
become rough and throaty, the higher tones shrill or 
thin. £The habit of singing directly from the vocal 
chords (glottis attack) is also bad, because in this case 
the vocal chords rub against each other and become 
inflamedJtjGood breathing is of great value, but the 
breath can only, set the vocal chords into vibration; 
nothing morer\jn a correct vocal attack the breath is 
instantly converted into tone.^> The much advised hum- 
ming of the tone or focusing to the front or face, is of no 
permanent value. It merely deceives the singer for a 
time. No vocal device, of whatever kind, can possibly 
assist the student in his search for a perfect voice. 

Nature provided the only means whereby the needed 
stretching of the entire vocal material can be auto- 
matically accomplished without causing the singer any 
exertion. The condition to such a happy result is that 
the vocal organ must be made equally strong in all 
its parts. 

57 



THE VOCAL OKGAN 



When we consider the triumphs of modern mechanics, 
such, for instance, as the building of the Panama Canal, 
the St. Gothard Tunnel, or the luxurious ocean steamers, 
the first question which suggests itself is how were they 
created? Naturally, first in the brain of the engineer; 
secondly, they were reasoned out, designed and sketched 
on paper, and not until then could the practical work 
be started. If the engineer's measurements and judg- 
ment were correct, then this theory must prove correct 
in practice. Just so in the vocal apparatus. When all 
that is necessary to make a perfect voice, is understood, 
then clear thinking and sound reasoning will be sufficient 
to show the way toward perfection, and practice will 
demonstrate that this reasoning was correct. 

The author has now given all the details of the mech- 
anism which operates in singing. If all these details 
work together in unison, the voice will be the best that 
is possible to the individual. If not, then we must 
find out wherein one or more of the details failed to 
operate, and correct it. No other way has any chance 
of success. 

Only the muscles from the tongue to the hyoid bone 
(Fig. 10, A-B Frontispiece) need concern us in the search 
of equal forces, for these reasons: First, these two pairs 
of muscles are located in the center of the vocal organ. 
They are attached both to the palate above and to the 
larynx below. Therefore, they naturally pull both ends 
toward each other. Secondly, these tongue-to-hyoid- 
bone muscles are the only ones in the entire vocal organ 
which are entirely free; that is, are nowhere attached to 
fixed bones like the other muscles. Also they have a 
separate nerve supply. Thirdly, because these muscles 
are free, they can be brought under the voluntary control 

58 



—ITS MECHANISM 



of the singer. If he uses these muscles, the tone will 
be large and beautiful. If he omits them, the tone will 
be thin and lack the necessary quality. 

A New Discovery 

Although the above facts have been known to anato- 
mists and open to singers as well, for some time, yet 
both have failed to grasp their importance as related 
to the voice. The anatomist naturally thought of them 
only in relation to the medical service or operating table; 
the singer and musician concerned himself very little, 
if at all, about the vocal anatomy. Firstly, because 
the musical temperament is usually opposed to a sci- 
entific analysis, dealing preferably with emotion. Sec- 
ondly, he had been taught that to think of the vocal 
instrument was to become self-conscious. He was told 
to think in tones, and that then the instrument would 
take care of the rest. The real reason why the control 
and development of all these important muscles did not 
suggest itself to the singer was because tongue muscles 
cannot be felt. 

It may seem strange that this group of muscles, 
whose importance cannot be overrated, should not also 
be strongly felt. But because these muscles are nowhere 
attached to a firm bone, they leave no sense of exertion 
or contraction behind them, especially when, as is the 
case in singers with exceptionally fine voices, these 
muscles are almost abnormally strong. This is also 
the reason why good singers and speakers feel no exer- 
tion, why the action of the vocal organ seems to become 
freer the longer they sing or speak. This freedom and 
strength of the tongue muscles accounts also for the 
free tone and the easy execution of the most difficult 

59 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



passages, as well as the many shadings and special effects 
employed by the great singers. 

Now, examining the frontispiece again, we may logi- 
cally deduct certain mechanical facts; Suppose that the 
three pairs of muscles which grow out of the breastbone 
(Fig. 6) and the collar bone (Fig. 7) into the hyoid 
bone (Fig. 5), and to the thyroid cartilage (Fig. % A-B), 
and overlapping the cricoid cartilage (Fig. 4), have alto- 
gether a contractile power of, say, 25 pounds. Then, to 
offset their downward pulling force, we must have the 
equal of 25 pounds of upward pulling force. Now the 
palato-pharyngeus muscle, which pulls the thyroid car- 
tilage upward, is considerably thinner than either of 
the three downward-pulling muscles. Also it is too long 
and too far from the object it is to move, and for these 
reasons it cannot be as strong as either of the opposing 
muscles. Now we have the two up-pulling tongue mus- 
cles (Fig. 10, A-B), to. supply the missing power. It 
follows that these tongue muscles must be of exceptional 
strength. Two facts, however, operate against these 
muscles; one is that they are nowhere attached to a firm 
bone; the other that singers are not even aware of the 
existence or importance of these muscles; hence the 
singer cannot help himself. 

The Remedy 

> When these tongue muscles are strong enough to 
supply the necessary up-pulling power, they set the entire 
vocal organ in motion. The vocal chords are then auto- 
matically stretched and singing becomes a pleasure. 
This is the case with the great singers who, through 
natural inheritance or for other reasons, possess excep- 
tionally strong tongue muscles.- But those whose voices 

60 



-ITS MECHANISM 



are not all that they desire, may now develop these 
muscles until they are just as strong as those of the 
great singers and thereby acquire a perfect voice. Since 
these muscles are comparatively easy to get at, they 
can be trained and developed. Practical tests on hun- 
dreds of students have proven in every case that this theory 
is not only correct, but absolutely infallible. This places 
voice study on an exact scientific basis and solves a 
problem which has troubled voice teachers for over three 
hundred years. 



61 



CHAPTER XIII 

The Contrary Proof 



SO FAR it has been the author's aim to furnish 
positive proof that the vocal organ must be per- 
fected before one can have a perfect voice. It has 
also been shown that it is the tongue muscles which 
cause all the trouble, and that when these are strength- 
ened and developed a perfect voice becomes an assured 
fact. A still further proof will now be given. If the 
vocal organ is deficient, the voice cannot be the best 
or nearly the best that is possible to the individual. He 
may sing, but a close observer will notice one or more 
of the following defects in his voice: The tones may be 
good up to a certain range, usually about F on the fifth 
line for high voices, about C or D below that for low 
voices. After that the tones become either soft and 
thin or else loud, piercing and hard, or the compass will 
extend no further than the tones above mentioned. Such 
a compass is entirely too limited for a successful career. 

Soft tones should be employed for special effects only; 
they are unsuited for normal, public singing. Loud, 
piercing, or hard tones are, of course, always offensive. 

How Does the Singer Realize His Faults? 

Naturally, a singer realizes first in a musical sense, 
that some of his tones are not so good as others, or that 
some tones require much greater effort than others. He 
may, indeed, get relief by employing special means, such 
as greater breath pressure, or focusing the voice toward 
the head, or by the singing of other vowels than the 

63 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



normal "aa"; but at best these means help only tempo- 
rarily. In the end he is worse off than before, because 
he has added new faults to those he previously possessed. 
But there are physical signs which tell him unmistakably 
whether his tones are correct or not. For instance, if, 
on high tones," the tongue is drawn far back from the teeth 
and rises in the back, and more especially if the tongue 
becomes hard, it is an infallible sign that his vocal organ 
is imperfect. Again, if the tip of the tongue braces 
itself against the front teeth, his organ, while reasonably 
correct, is still far from being perfect. If his tongue 
sinks down into the throat, if it is flabby, or very loose, 
it is a sign that the all-important muscles are very weak. 
If the jaw becomes stiff or the palate rises or spreads 
apart in the back of the mouth, the organ is imperfect. 

But if his tongue rises a very little all along in a 
straight line from tip to back, or if the tongue becomes 
somewhat thick, and most especially, if he sings with 
utmost ease throughout the scale on every vowel, his 
vocal organ is sure to be right. Such a favorable condi- 
tion is rarely to be met with; not very many singers 
nearly approach this ideal condition, but if they knew 
where the weakness was to be found, they could correct 
it, and then their tones would soon become freer and 
better. Often a few months' practice will develop a 
voice to undreamed of beauty, power and compass. 

Muscles Which Interfere with or Entirely Pre- 
vent the Correct Chord-Stretching Effort 

'It can be stated with absolute truth that voices would 
be much better, and there would be more good voices, 
if the singer, at the beginning of his career, would, physi- 
ologically speaking, employ only those muscles which 



-ITS MECHANISM 



are essential to a good voice. If one begins right and 
continues to use the correct vocal mechanism, it will 
gain in strength every day and his voice will become 
more beautiful and the compass will increase.^. This is 
the case with the great singers, who preserve their voices 
to old age. On the other hand, if the correct mechanism 
is 'not under the singer's control, there is a constant 
temptation to employ other muscles to temporarily force 
the voice, and these, in the end, also destroy it. 

Suppose the voice is naturally pretty, but too light 
and soft for public use. The singer's natural instinct 
would be to make the voice larger by a greater exertion; 
now, the legitimate, correct vocal muscles cannot, as has 
been explained, be forced. Therefore, if he exerts him- 
self, he is not using the correct vocal muscles at all, but 
others which lead him astray, because, temporarily, they 
help to give his tones greater power. 

There are several muscles to the hyoid bone, other 
than those already described, which can obstruct the 
chord-stretching. 

First, by preventing the upward-downward tilting of 
the hyoid bone, which would also prevent the thyroid 
cartilage from being tilted downward in front. 

Second, by drawing the hyoid bone and the larynx 
forward, which again would interfere with the natural 
chord-stretching. 

The first fault is caused by the digastric muscle (the 
muscle employed when chewing). It runs from the 
cranium to the hyoid bone and the chin. It prevents 
the tilting of the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage, 
because it pulls them straight upward and backward. 
Two other muscles also oppose the correct vocal chord- 
stretching in a similar, but less degree; they are the stylo- 

65 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



hyoid muscle, from the skull to the hyoid bone, and the 
mylo-hyoid muscle, from the lower jaw to the hyoid bone. 

The second fault is caused by the powerful genio- 
hyoid muscle (Fig. 7, 111. X). It is attached to the 
lower part of the chin and runs to the front part of the 
hyoid bone. It, therefore, can draw the hyoid bone, and 
with it the entire larynx, forward, but with most injurious 
effect to the voice. 

All these muscles belong to the lower jaw. They are 
very strong, because they were designed to open and 
close the mouth. These muscles are still further aided 
by the muscles which pull the jaw upward. All these 
muscles combined possess very great power and by their 
contraction they interfere greatly with the true vocal 
muscles; that is, with the entire muscular apparatus 
which moves the larynx and stretches the vocal chords. 

The temptation to use these chewing muscles is very 
great. We associate in all physical efforts a correspond- 
ing muscular exertion. If a heavy weight is to be lifted, 
we instinctively determine upon a corresponding effort 
which we expect to feel in our arms and shoulders. So, 
also, the singer judges that a louder tone demands a 
greater effort, and naturally enough, thinks that he must 
feel a greater effort. And just here is the great danger 
of using the jaw muscles. They are strong and ever 
ready to help; besides, they at once change the tone and 
deceive the singer into believing that he is right. 

Since these muscles have such a great power to excite 
sensation, many suppose that the jaw muscles must be 
kept absolutely relaxed and loose. This is natural 
enough, but in relaxing the jaw muscles he also relaxes 
the entire throat, and, in so doing, he relaxes the essential 
chord-stretching muscles also, since he cannot differ- 

66 



-ITS MECHANISM 



entiate between them. Now when the essential chord- 
stretching muscles are relaxed, the vocal chords must 
also relax; that is, they surrender their enlarging, con- 
densing effort; thereby making an artistic voice impossible. 
Only feeble or breathy tones are possible when the vocal 
muscles are relaxed. 

Either of these two conditions is the almost universal 
rule among singers. The exception is hailed and wor- 
shiped as a star. If voice study were rightly understood, 
stars would be the rule, and failures the exception. 

In correct singing, that is, when the tongue muscles 
are trained and made strong, there is a very powerful 
contraction of the true vocal muscles. But these con- 
tractions are not felt as an effort or an exertion. In fact, 
there is no strain anywhere. 

Every one of the tongue muscles described in the 
previous chapters has a functional share in the whole 
combination, while every one of the jaw muscles inter- 
feres with the true artistic voice. Mechanical calcula- 
tions alone show that only the hyo-glossi and chondro- 
glossi muscles, which extend upward and forward from 
the hyoid bone into the tongue, are legitimate agents, . 
for only these can assist the sterno-hyoid muscles (from 
hyoid bone to breastbone) in tilting the hyoid bone 
and the thyroid cartilage downward upon the cricoid 
joint to stretch the vocal chords. These muscles pull 
the rear horns of the hyoid bone upward; at the same 
time the sterno-hyoid pulls the front of the hyoid bone 
downward. Of course, this action also tilts the larynx 
downward, being assisted by the sterno-thyroid muscles 
(from thyroid cartilage to breastbone), provided the 
cricoid bone is held firmly against the spine, which is 
always the case in the correct action as here given. 

67 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



This fortunate division of the right and wrong muscles 
into two classes, tongue muscles and jaw muscles, makes 
vocal study an infallible, exact science, which can be 
demonstrated with mathematical certainty. 

One more fact remains to be mentioned; that is, 
when all the true vocal muscles act powerfully together, 
a feeling of openness or looseness is experienced by the 
singer, leading him to believe that all muscles are relaxed. 
This feeling is correct, but the inference that the mus- 
cles are relaxed, is a mistake. A relaxed muscle, means 
a dead muscle, without life and energy. Such a muscle 
cannot do any work. But a stiff or tense muscle is 
also useless, for it is held too tight to perform any 
other office than that of stiffening itself. Neither a 
relaxed muscle nor a tense one is of any use. What is 
needed is a flexible, strong muscle, that can contract 
with great rapidity and, because of its strength, also 
with great ease. 

One needs only to look at a superior athlete or acrobat 
for an illustration of flexibility combined with muscular 
strength. Again, if a pianist were to relax his fingers, 
there would be no strength, consequently only a feeble 
weak tone; but if his fingers are stiff, there can be no 
rapidity of movement. If, however, his muscles are 
flexible, and through practice are made strong, there 
will be no apparent effort, even for the biggest tone, and 
his movements will still be rapid. So, also, if the correct 
vocal muscles are made strong, there will be no stiffness, 
and certainly no relaxation. 

/There is only one way to develop a muscle's strength, 
and that is the muscle's own effort against resistance.^ 
Many years of study and experiment tested upon himself 
and hundreds of students, among whom are many who 

68 



—ITS MECHANISM 



are now in the front ranks of their profession, in the lead- 
ing operas of both Europe and America, as concert sing- 
ers, dramatists and voice teachers, have proven that the 
method devised by the author is not only correct, but 
that it is the only possible way by which the student 
can develop his voice and bring it to perfection. 



69 



CHAPTER XIV 

Breathing 



IT MAY be assumed that in most cases, to those sing- 
ers or speakers who, by nature or by the study and 
practice of the method devised by the author, sing 
only with the action of the true vocal muscles, the cor- 
rect method of breathing will gradually and instinctively 
assert itself. Even if such should not be the case, the 
tones will still be beautiful and large; but for the pur- 
pose of smooth phrasing and easy diction, and still more 
for the purpose of tone shading and expression and other 
special effects, correct breathing is essential. 

Many attempts have been made to establish different 
systems of breathing, but they are all more or less based 
upon opinions and experiences of singers and teachers 
who believed that their system was the best possible. 
Much good has been accomplished by these means, but 
such systems could not cover all points and cases, because 
in the first place the systems were not written out in the 
exact scientific manner which alone can explain and direct 
the correct way of inhaling and exhaling breath. Further- 
more, it requires not only a general knowledge of physi- 
ology to establish the use of the true breathing muscles, 
but also a most painstaking minute search and long experi- 
ence, which is generally acquired only by the specialist. 

The confusion which still exists in regard to breathing 
is best illustrated by referring to differences of opinion 
in regard to abdominal, chest or diaphragmatic breathing. 
When, as a matter of physiological fact, neither one alone 
is correct or even possible. We do not, for instance, 
inhale at all, nor is the breath ever expelled. To inhale 

71 



THE VOCAL ORGAN 



the breath would take up too much time. It could not 
take place as instantaneously as is required for the 
minute pauses between phrases in singing and speaking. 
What we really do is to create a vacuum which is at 
once filled by the air. This vacuum is created by a set 
of muscles specially adapted for this purpose. Then to 
convert this air or breath into tone, an entirely different 
set of muscles is put into action. These two separate 
functions govern the chest, diaphragm and abdomen 
so that each has a certain share in the work accom- 
plished. Neither of these predominate in correct 
breathing. The subject, however, is too complicated to 
be treated in a work which has as its sole object the 
technical explanation of the vocal organ. Although the 
breathing organs are a most necessary and indispensable 
part of the entire vocal apparatus, yet that apparatus 
is by Nature divided into the vocal organ from breast 
and collar bone upward, the breathing organ from these 
bones downward. So it was deemed best not to over- 
burden the student with too much material which might, 
in the end, confuse him. He is advised to completely 
master the subject, "The Vocal Organ," as here given. 
A special work on breathing has been prepared that 
covers the subject completely. In it will be found a 
minutely exact description, with necessary illustrations, 
of the entire breathing apparatus, the relation of the 
separate parts to each other, and the function for which 
each set of muscles is created, with detailed instructions 
for using them so as to gain the best results. 

Conclusion 

The chief end and aim of art should be to give joy, 
to arouse noble sentiments, by speaking to the heart 

72 



-ITS MECHANISM 



first. In music this is done by beautiful sounds, there- 
fore the singer's object should be to develop his voice 
so that all the beauty and nobility which is in such super- 
abundance about us, can be set free. Only after such 
beauty of tone is at the command of the singer, will the 
study of songs become of any value. Then intelligence 
will be added to emotion, and the two united into one 
perfect work of art. Voice is the result of physical 
conditions, much the same as in any other musical instru- 
ment. It is subject to similar laws, and in tne case of 
tone quality, to identically the same laws. 

It has been shown that the tone quality is dependent 
upon the perception by the ear of the overtones arising 
out of the fundamental tone. But the overtones cannot 
be strong enough or numerous enough unless the primary 
or fundamental tone is strong, hence the fuller the tone, 
the more numerous are the overtones, and the finer and 
sweeter is the quality of the tone to the ear. Now in 
order to gain a larger volume of tone, we- must utilize 
all the vocal material which we possess. That means, 
that all the muscles which constitute the vocal chords 
must unite and condense into practically a single chain 
of muscles. In addition to this we must be able to 
stretch this united muscle. This can be done only by 
the external laryngial muscles, and of these again only 
the tongue muscles need to be trained and developed. 
This reduces voice study down to one single exercise. 
This simple exercise gradually changes the weak muscles 
into strong muscles, and as soon as the full strength is 
acquired, the full beauty and power of the voice is pos- 
sible, and to the author's positive knowledge this voice 
will be a revelation of glorious beauty > 

73 



The Perfect Voice Building Method 



The author has shown the cause of weak and imper- 
fect voices and has demonstrated that the muscles at 
fault have been located and can be isolated and placed 
under the voluntary control of the person. We now 
wish to inform you that he has prepared a course of, 
instructions, which tell exactly how to develop the vocal 
organ, so as to create for the voice a great increase of 
strength, volume, flexibility, tone and beauty. 

These instructions explain in detail Professor 
Feuchtinger's complete method of voice building — 
the method which has brought him such a large meas- 
ure of success in his work. We might write a volume 
about this simple but wonderful method, but we believe 
that nothing we might say would give you such a clear 
appreciation of its worth, as to read what his European 
students say of it. They speak from personal experience. 

As you read you will notice that this method has been 
equally successful with all kinds of voices, and under 
all kinds of conditions. We state only the truth when 
we say that the method never fails. After having read 
the following extracts, if you are interested in improving 
your voice, write to us for a copy of "The Perfect Voice." 
It will be sent to you free. Address 

PERFECT VOICE INSTITUTE, 

1914 Montrose Blvd., Chicago, 111. 



76 



The Following Are a Few Extracts 

from Letters Received from 

Students 



Madam Ellen Forena, Metropolitan Opera, New York, for- 
merly with Kubelik: 

"Your method has in a short time restored my voice. You have gone 
to the root of the matter. I shall always practice your intelligent 
method, that I may not again lose my voice, as happened through in- 
competent instruction." 

Rev. F. H. Brinkmann, Fruens Boege, Denmark: 

"My voice has become stronger, speaking is easier, even my throat 
is much better. I do not get tired after prolonged speaking, nor do I 
get hoarse, as I formerly did." 

Lud wig Henry, Professional Reader, Berlin, Germany: 

"I have never studied singing, but took up your exercises, with the 
astonishing result that now I have a beautiful, healthy singing voice, 
of which I had no knowledge heretofore." 

Miss Ylva Hellberg, Yaerfa, Sweden, Dramatic Soprano, 
Royal Opera, Aachen, Germany: 

"Without your method I would never have advanced so far and so 
quickly. All my friends say that what no one had before been able to 
do, Professor Feuchtinger has accomplished. Before I studied with 
you my voice was useless." 

Mr. Hans Wohlrath, Ph. D., Berlin, Germany: 

"I bless^ the day I found you. Without your method I would still 
be floundering in the mists of darkness and uncertainty. If the philos- 
opher Kant gave the Germans the title of "The Nation of Thinkers," 
you should be called the creator of a "Nation of Nightingales." I sing 
now with enthusiasm and joy, my best parts being the slow flowing 
cantilene passages." 

Mr. G. Aim, Chailly sur Lausanne, Switzerland: 

"I want to tell you that my wife has made enormous progress. 
Her voice is large and very beautiful, it reminds me more and more of 
the voice of Calve\ The voice is always the same — always dependable." 

77 



Rev. A. Haibt, Rector, Bishops Seminary, Rottenburg, 
Germany: 

"I am very glad to tell you that, by continuing the exercises which 
you taught me, my voice has made great progress. I have spoken 
much of your method and recommended it in the 'Magazine for Peda- 
gogic* " 

Mr. Sverre Dahl, Concert Singer, Christiania, Norway: 

"My concert here was an immense success. All criticisms were fa- 
vorable, some even splendid. They all say that my voice is remarkably 
fine, that my diction is perfect and that I must have had an excellent 
teacher. I was re-engaged for a popular concert here and for several 
other cities." 

Mrs. Meta Lautier, Opera Singer, Hamburg, Germany: 

"Perhaps you remember that in the spring I sang to you the 'Brun- 
hilde' from the 'Walkuere' and at that time I could not sing a tone in 
the higher middle range. I am now more than pleased tobe able to 
tell you, that not only that range, but also the highest note in the part, 
is now easy for me." 

Mrs. Lola Wieland, Concert Singer, Montreal, Canada: 

"Since taking your instructions my voice has constantly improved* 
The middle range and the 'mezzo di Voce' are especially good, as is 
also my diction. The tone is no longer throaty, but placed where it 
ought to be." 

Joseph Schaefer, Dresden, Germany: 

"Professor Feuchtinger's lecture in Dresden aroused my enthusiasm. 
As I. am a student of the Royal Academy of Art in Dresden, I am well 
schooled in anatomy. I have studied the vocal instrument, both in the 
dead body and with the help of the best works on physiology, and have 
come to the conclusion that Professor Feuchtinger's method is the only 
method by which one can acquire a free, large voice. After a few 
lessons my tone is already free and twice as large as formerly, also my 
compass has increased an entire fifth." 

Mr. H, Stern, San Remo, Italy: 

"Since I began practicing your exercises I realize that my voice is 
improving, and especially that it comes easier and is flexible. Friends 
for whom I sang were astonished at my progress." 

Mr. Johann Jancke, Professor State College, Litau, Bohemia: 

"This method guarantees the development of a large compass and 
a strong voice, because it rests upon the solid foundation of science and 
truth. It differs from all the old methods in that it trains the muscles 
which control the vocal chords. In one week's study my own voice 
increased most perceptibly in strength and clearness." 

78 



Mrs. Anna Buenslow, Stockholm, Sweden: 

"It gives me great joy to tell you that my voice is very much more 
free, resonant and strong. Also that after hours of practicing, I do not 
get tired, as was formerly the case, when even after little singing my 
voice became husky and tired." 

Mr. Willy Ulmer, City Theater, Frankfurt A/M, Germany: 

"Your valuable method is most convincing to me because I found in 
it the explanation of my difficulties and their cause. For ten years I 
have studied various methods and in various schools without success, 
but now I have proof that your method succeeds where all the others 
have failed." 

Dr. Henry Moeller, Paris, France: 

"Your method aroused my interest, because the principle rests upon 
a correct scientific, physiological basis. I have tested it myself and 
find it a most successful voice method." 

Mr. Arthur Henroz, Brussels, Belgium: 

"For years I have studied with a good Italian teacher, but since 
studying your method I have obtained results which convince me of its 
superiority.' ' 

Johanna Mierch, Dresden, Germany: 

"With grateful heart I can write you that my voice has developed 
wonderfully fast. I sing the high 'C and sometimes the 'D' above with 
utmost ease. I am sure I will soon be a Coloratura soprano." 

F. Riis Magnussen, Opera Singer, Dresden, Germany: 

"You will be surprised to see how thoroughly I have mastered your 
method and how at last (after many years' study with other teachers) 
I have found the infallible way." 

Mrs. Margaret Krabb, Hamburg, Germany: 

"I thank you for the good your method has done me. My progress is 
most satisfactory, singing is so much easier. My husband says that 
it is a pleasure to hear me. The tones are free of all mechanism. I 
shall always be a disciple of your greatness and the truth of your 
training." 

Miss Clara Gersteroph, Grossherzoglich Baden Opera Singer, 
Hamburg, Germany: 

"As a result of my study with you my voice is again soft and flexible. 
I recommend all professional singers and earnest students to learn your 
method." 

79 



In compliance with Section 108 of the 

Copyright Revision Act of 1976, 

The Ohio State University Libraries 

has produced this facsimile on permanent/durable 

paper to replace the deteriorated original volume 

owned by the Libraries. Facsimile created by 

Acme Bookbinding, Charlestown, MA 

2000 

The paper used in this publication meets the 

minimum requirements of the 

American National Standard for Information 

Sciences - Permanence for Printed Library 

Materials, 

ANSIZ39.48-1992. 



fc>Q 




! — MS3 MMMAMBM 



; doubling the number of vibrations. One-half of this 
string vibrates with twice the rapidity of the whole string. 

: In the same way one^hird of the string vibrates with 
three times the rapidity* producing a note one~Sfth above 
the octave; while one-fourth of the string vibrates with 
four times the rapidity, producing the double octave 
of the whole string, In general terms, the number of 

^ vibrations is inversely proportional to the length of the 
string; the smaller the divisions of the string, the higher 

I the tone. Again, the more tightly a string is stretched, 

I the more rapid are its vibrations. By plucking the string 

r with one hand, while the other hand alternately lifts 
and presses upon the weight, the quick variations of 
tension will produce a varying, wailing tone. By apply- 
ing different weights to the end of the string and deter- 
mining in each note the number of vibrations executed in 
a second, we find the numbers thus obtained to be pro- 
portional to the square root of the stretching string. A 
string, for example, stretched by a weight of one pound, 
execntes a certain number of vibrations a second. If we 
wish to double the number of vibrations, we must stretch 
the string by a weight of four pounds; if we wish to treble 
the vibrations we must apply the weight of nine pounds, 
and so on. The vibrations of a string also depend upon 

L its thickness. If, therefore, of two strings of the same 
material, equally long and equally stretched, the one has 
twice the cfiameter of the other, the thinner string will 
execute double the xmmkm: of vibrations of the other in 

; the same time. If one string be three times as thick as 
the other, it will execute one third the number of vibra- 

h tions, and so on. 

Finally, the vibrations of a string i^md upon the 
density of the matter of which it is composed. If the 
- 21 













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